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M&I Bank’s Golden Parachutes for Executives a “Breach of Trust” with Wisconsin’s Working Families
MILWAUKEE, WI - May 6 - Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is the latest in a wave of businesses, organizations, and individuals who are closing their accounts with – and sending a strong message to – M&I Bank.
Taxpayers bailed out M&I Bank with $1.7 billion dollars of their hard-earned money. Instead of repaying their debt to taxpayers M&I executives spent hundreds of thousands of dollar on political contributions to Governor Scott Walker and politicians who are now attacking the middle class.
In a letter delivered to M&I Bank CEO Mark Furlong today, Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO announced that the organization will close its account with M&I Bank by withdrawing more than $105,000 in funds.
The letter accuses Furlong and other M&I executives of betraying Wisconsin’s working families by failing to pay back $1.7 billion in bailout funds, focusing on their personal bottom lines, and reaping $71 million in golden parachutes in the sale of M&I to the Bank of Montreal.
In an excerpt from the letter, Bloomingdale writes:
M&I does not deserve the trust of Wisconsin’s working families. We’ve paid for your bailouts and now you and your fellow failed executives are walking away with $71 million in golden parachutes. Meanwhile, the sale of M&I to Bank of Montreal may cost Wisconsin hundreds of jobs.
While we sacrifice and work hard to rebuild our state’s economy, you’ve set yourself up for a $24 million personal payday after the bank’s sale is completed. A $24 million payday that you bent the rules to get.
The rules being bent are those that prohibit bank executives whose corporations have not paid back TARP bailouts from receiving bonuses or golden parachutes. By laying M&I’s $1.7 billion tab on the Bank of Montreal, Furlong and his executives are able to pocket $71 million.
At a meeting of shareholders last month, Bank of Montreal Chairman David Galloway called the packages M&I executives have gifted themselves "large" and implied he was disappointed that the Bank of Montreal was unable to negotiate something "more reasonable."
Just last Saturday Voces de la Frontera joined the Move Your Money effort, as more than 50 residents of Whitefish Bay gathered at an M&I Bank branch to close their accounts or sign letters of intent to do so once they could conclude their business with the bank.
“The community will not stand idly by while our rights are threatened,” said Voces de la Frontera member Fil Gonzalez. “We were invested in M&I and we need to rely on a corporate financial institution that has an investment in our values.”
“Working people’s money will not be misused in this way,” explained Bloomingdale. “By contributing money to Scott Walker and other Republicans, M&I has taken part in the destruction of Wisconsin’s middle class. As a company entirely dependent on American taxpayers for its survival, M&I owes its allegiance to those taxpayers. In short, it owes Wisconsin’s working families. The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is proud to say we’re moving our money.”
“M&I and other corporations are funding Scott Walker to wage war on working people and the people of Wisconsin will not stand for it,” explained Steven Shea, a teacher at Milwaukee Area Technical College.